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s&w 581 / 681 ..I could use a little help here

Discussion in 'Smith & Wesson Club' started by n0vember, Jan 22, 2010.

  1. n0vember

    n0vember germanolicious

    Dec 1, 2008

    I'm considering buying a used s&w 581, 4" barrel in 357 mag. I would mainly use it as a backup weapon when hunting or primary when tracking wounded boar in corn or thick brush.

    The only thing that is keeping me from buying it is that I am unsure wether the fixed sights are okay for precise shot placements up to 25yards or not..

    What do you say, are fixed sights fine or should I try and get a hold on a 586/686 with adjustable sights?

    Maybe if anyone of you owns a 581 or 681, could you upload a few pics showing the rear sight and maybe a picture of the aligned sights?

    The gun I'm intending to buy is a rather rare piece at is has been used by some agency and is "refurbished" and parkerized.. looks roughly like this:
  2. CZ guy

    CZ guy

    Jan 18, 2010
    That's just bead blasted stainless as far as I can tell. Not to my taste.

    I'd highly recommend the 686... a decision you'll never regret.

  3. DJ Niner

    DJ Niner Moderator

    Feb 13, 2001
    North-Central USA
    IMO, the (only) problem with fixed-sight magnum revolvers, is that they are usually only precisely zeroed for one load. Even another loading with the same bullet weight, but made by a different manufacturer, may shoot to a significantly different point-of-impact.

    The only real way to tell if the gun will meet your needs is to shoot it, with the load you intend to use for hunting, at whatever distance you want it be zeroed.

    Unless, of course, you typically shoot 10"+ groups at 10 yards; if that is the case, I can say it will almost certainly meet your needs. :supergrin:
  4. jrod45ar


    Nov 20, 2008
    I owned a 681 in the mid 80's. Wish I would of kept it. Don't worry about the fixed sights. They are definitely precise out to 25 yards. Go for it! You'll be glad you did. Fixed sights are perfect for woods bumming.They don't get knocked out of adjustment if dropped.
  5. mitchshrader

    mitchshrader Deceased

    Jun 14, 2005
    I'll second the go for it, and get 158 grain loads to start. Both .38+P, and .357. See whatcha got. You won't be crying, those guns shoot straight.
  6. n0vember

    n0vember germanolicious

    Dec 1, 2008
    Thanks for your input! I decided to buy it and after a few problems with the import-forms (hello Germany..) the gun has arrived at my gun dealer's so I'll hopefully collect it next week... I'm reeeeally really looking forward to it, as I basically traded a s&w m&p45c for it (we're only allowed two handguns in Germany, so one had to go..)
  7. DHart


    Nov 16, 2002
    The 581 is one of my all time favorite S&W revos and I've got a bunch of them. Here's one of my 581's.


    Fantastic, durable, accurate, sleek, like no other. I made another one of mine which looked like this when I bought it:


    into a 3"er with a rounded grip... WOW, what a gun. Here's how it looks now:



    With a light and oh-so buttery-smooth action. Thank you, Mark Hartshorne!
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2010
  8. n0vember

    n0vember germanolicious

    Dec 1, 2008